During Hurricane Sandy, we lost power for 5 days. Really can’t complain. It was awful not having heat, not being able to cook and of course living in darkness daily from around 4 p.m. on, but that’s nothing compared to what people on the coast went through. What many of them are still going through. It tears at the heart to think of the loss and the helplessness. And the darkness.
Light is such a powerful force. Of hope and optimism and possibility. Sitting huddled around the fireplace at night, trying to get some warmth, it really got me thinking about just how very revolutionary electricity must have been. Without light in the house, why stay up late into the evening? Reading by fire or candlelight is difficult, and it’s damned spooky beyond that glow.
What it must have been like for man centuries ago, as the days grew shorter and shorter when winter approached… And how clever it was to have a celebration around the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice.
It’s still clever.
You know, normally I kinda roll my eyes when people put up all that holiday stuff in their yards too early, and plug in those lights. But this year feels different. This year I’m thinking bring on the light and the color and the flashing brilliance. Even bring on that tacky glowing plastic snowman (but maybe put a hold on those giant blowup ornaments…shiver). We even strung up our looping white lights along the property fence and a line of electric icicles across the porch the day after Thanksgiving.
This year it feels like: hi yah! Take that darkness and cold! It’s extra cheerful when at 4:30 darkness tries to descend, sending along with it a depressing chill to my very bones. But then wink, zap, pow! House after house flares with glowing bushes, sparkling eaves, multicolored conifers. And I can’t help but feel like I’m walking in daylight.
So bring on the holidays! Make em tacky and bright, garish and brash. We laugh at the darkness. We feel like going out instead of huddling alone inside wrapped in a blanket.
This holiday season, step out, catch the sparkle and whimsy. Clasp hands with each other and laugh often. The longer days will come again, but in the meantime, let there be light in your life.
Happy almost December to all.